It is amazing how many times we hear the same feedback from our clients that a candidate has not been successful at an interview as they did not have a clear idea of who the company was and what they did! This is an inexcusable blunder and shows lack of preparation, interest and motivation on the part of the candidate. Always read the company website before going for an interview and have a clear understanding of what they do, their history, future aims, key players, competitors, market position and to really impress, a recent piece of company news such as a new product launch, appointment or acquisition.
Study the profile you are applying for and outline some answers to key questions you think might come up. Also, have some examples of real-life scenarios in your career to date that demonstrate where you have already gained similar experience that will add value to the role you are applying for. This also includes behaviours and personal attributes as well as actions. This mode of interviewing to access a candidate’s responses and personality traits is called Competency-based Interviewing and is a very popular technique with most recruiters.
Equally important is to think about the gaps of knowledge you might have about the role itself, what the expectations are and what the department/company objectives are. Again, prepare your key questions for the interviewer as this is a 2-way process and you are just as entitled as the company to make sure that the role is a match for you as well!
Make sure you know exactly where the company is located, how you are going to get there, and how long it will take. Lateness for an appointment is never excusable, never gives the right impression and always sets the interview off on a negative footing. We always provide our candidates with the names and titles of the interviewers, emergency telephone numbers to contact, the name of the person to ask for at reception and wherever possible the format the interview will take. Please make sure you have all these pieces of information to hand.
Presentation is key: your consultant should also provide you with details regarding the company dress code and additional materials you should take to the interview as required, for example, a creative portfolio, academic certificates etc. Occasionally you might be asked to sit a test to determine your level of English or your ability to use a certain computer program so make sure you are also fully prepared for this to maximize your chances of success. Also, it might sound academic, but ensure you are in tip-top form for the interview, have a good night’s sleep before-hand, eat properly on the day of the interview and try to control your nerves as much as you can by being yourself and engaging with the interviewer in a confident and positive manner.